Recipe Blog - Feature - Oak Smoked Tri-Tip

Oak Smoked Tri-Tip Recipe

By: Andrea Alden

The Tri-tip is a little bit of a challenge to get your hands on. There are only two on a cow so sometimes they get snapped up before you can get your hands on one. The Tri-tip is also called by several other names including the Sirloin Butt, Culotte, California-Cut, Aiguillette, Bürgermeisterstück, and a few others. People, butchers, often mislabel it as the Top Sirloin or the Bottom Sirloin too! It can be a hard cut to find but don’t lose heart. When you can get your hands on one, this Oak Smoked Tri-Tip Recipe will be ready and well worth the wait. 

What is a Tri-tip? The Tri-tip is a roast sized, triangular cut of beef from the bottom sirloin – explaining why it is sometimes mistaken for and labeled top or bottom sirloin. This cut is incredibly flavorful, well-marbled, tender, and lean. For best results, a slower cook, reverse sear style, followed by a high-heat sear, and a good rest will ensure a delightful meal. Adding smoke to the mix will only heighten the flavor.

Prep Time
10 Min
Cook Time
65 Min
Yield
4 to 6
Difficulty
Medium

Oak Smoked Tri-Tip Recipe

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Ingredients

Directions

Photos

Ingredients

1 (1½ to 3 lb.)

Tri-tip roast

Salt to taste

1 tbsp.

garlic powder

2 tsp.

freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp.

paprika

Directions
  1. The night before, salt the roast and place it on a wire rack over a baking sheet, in the refrigerator. This will ensure that the salt works its magic before you cook. 
  2. When you are ready to grill this recipe, set up your gas grill for using the charcoal tray. Remove the grids, and sear plates over two burners. Fit the charcoal tray directly on the burners. Fill it with a layer of charcoal, preferably natural lump, and use the burners to light the charcoal. 
  3. Allow the charcoal to ash over, preheating the grill to about 225 to 250°F. If you find your barbecue is getting too hot, spread the charcoal out if possible. 
  4. While the charcoal is getting hot, combine the garlic powder, pepper, and paprika in a bowl. Season all sides of the Tri-tip roast with the seasoning. 
  5. You can add the wood chips directly to the charcoal or place it into the compartment built into the charcoal tray. Add the oak wood chips. Replace the cooking grids.
  6. Place the meat near, but not directly over the charcoal, slowly smoking it for about an hour. (Remember that it will be less if the roast is smaller, more if the roast is bigger.) When the internal temperature of the Tri-tip reaches 110 to 120°F, remove it to a cutting board for a few moments. 
  7. Check the temperature of the charcoal in the tray. If you had to spread it out initially, bring it back together to create a little more heat. If it’s too cool, add a couple of new lumps to get it up to searing temperature. Once the charcoal is nice and hot, sear the beef over direct heat for a couple of minutes per side, on all sides, until delicious grill marks form and an internal temperature of 130°F is reached. 
  8. Rest the Tri-tip for at least 10 to 15 minutes before slicing against the grain and serving with your favorite sides. 

How to Slice a Tri-Tip
When you go to carve the Tri-tip, keep in mind that this special cut of beef contains two different grain directions. That means that if you slice it the wrong way, it can go chewy, no matter how expertly you cooked it. 
Once the roast is well-rested, find where the two types of grain meet, roughly 2/3 of the way into the roast as it becomes the wide end. 

  1. Slice the roast in two, splitting where the two different grains meet. 
  2. Slice the Tri-tip into thin slices at a right angle to the grain. This cutting the thin tip in the same direction as the cut that separated the two grains. Slice the thicker/wider section at a 90° angle to the cut that separated the two sections. 

This beefy charcoal recipe for Oak Smoked Tri-Tip roast is delicious and hearty. I prefer a meat and potatoes approach to this meal, but many often pair a Tri-tip with romesco sauce, salsa, and beans, or chimichurri. However you want to serve it, this BBQ recipe is guaranteed to please. Have you ever tried the delicious and rare Tri-tip roast? Share your Tri-tip experience, recipes, and photos on our social pages like Facebook and Instagram, using the hashtags #NapoleonEats and #NapoleonGrills.

PRO TIP: Use the leftovers to make chili con carne or smoked Tri-tip sandwiches. 

Happy Grilling!

Recipe Blog - Oak Smoked Tri-Tip - Ingredients

Salt the beef the night before. Gather your ingredients and season the tri-tip

Recipe Blog - Oak Smoked Tri-Tip - charcoal

Light the charcoal

Recipe Blog - Oak Smoked Tri-Tip - Prepared

Prepare to smoke the beef

Recipe Blog - Oak Smoked Tri-Tip - smoke

Slowly, gently, smoke the beef until a temperature of 110°F

Recipe Blog - Oak Smoked Tri-Tip - Sear

Sear the tri-tip over direct heat

Recipe Blog - Oak Smoked Tri-Tip - Serve1

Serve the tri-tip family style with fresh seasonal veggies

Recipe Blog - Oak Smoked Tri-Tip - Serve2

This is a definite crowd-pleaser

AndreaAlden
Andrea Alden

I used to be the Sultana of Sizzle, but you can call me Andrea. I have always been passionate about food. Even though I was majoring in Art and Graphic Design, I would frequently be found cooking for my friends and family.

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Recipe Blog - Oak Smoked Tri-Tip - Ingredients

Salt the beef the night before. Gather your ingredients and season the tri-tip

Recipe Blog - Oak Smoked Tri-Tip - charcoal

Light the charcoal

Recipe Blog - Oak Smoked Tri-Tip - Prepared

Prepare to smoke the beef

Recipe Blog - Oak Smoked Tri-Tip - smoke

Slowly, gently, smoke the beef until a temperature of 110°F

Recipe Blog - Oak Smoked Tri-Tip - Sear

Sear the tri-tip over direct heat

Recipe Blog - Oak Smoked Tri-Tip - Serve1

Serve the tri-tip family style with fresh seasonal veggies

Recipe Blog - Oak Smoked Tri-Tip - Serve2

This is a definite crowd-pleaser